Ex parte James Edward Long (original by judge newell)Annotate this Case
Applicants James Long, James Pitts, Jr., and Michael Shelton pleaded guilty to the offense of sexual assault and testified against Applicant Richard Kussmaul at his capital murder trial. Long, Pitts, and Shelton all testified that they and Kussmaul had gang raped a female victim, and that Kussmaul had shot both the female and male victims. Post-conviction DNA test results excluded all four men as contributors to the semen collected from the crime scene, but revealed the genetic profiles of two unidentified men. Long, Pitts, and Shelton recanted their inculpatory statements to the police and their testimony at Kussmaul’s trial, and the trial court recommended the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals grant relief on Article 11.073 and actual innocence grounds. The Court agreed applicants were entitled to relief under Article 11.073 based on the discovery of new scientific evidence, but disagreed that they proved they were actually innocent.